B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31857

B-17 #42-31857zoom_in



MACR: 5437 / KSU/ME/KU: 1274


History of
B-17 42-31857

Delivered Cheyenne 26/12/43; Lincoln 10/1/44; Savannah 13/1/44; Morrison 26/1/44; Assigned 340BS/97BG Amendola 28/1/44; Missing in Action Wollersdorf A/fd, Aus. 29/5/44 with Jacob Rosenberg, Kelley, Covington, Jones, Cooper, Gibson, Lavereaux, Ashe, Kalfsbeck, Meinecke; flak, crashed Ransdorf, Aus; Missing Air Crew Report 5437.

Last updated: 10. May 2020


B-17 42-31857 Details

I the undersigned was flying as a ball turret gunner in aircraft #641, of the 341st Bomb Squadron, on the 29 May, 1944. I called to the pilot of our aircraft on the interphone that a B-17 was going down at 1001 o’clock. I looked in that direction and saw it was flying level, even though it had dropped from 2000 to 5000 feet. Either #1 or #2, engines was smoking pretty bad. I took my eyes off of the aircraft for a fraction of a minute, and when I looked back once more, I saw it going down in a spin, parts flying from everywhere. The aircraft blew apart at about 10000 feet, the biggest part I saw was a fraction from the wing. I saw one chute come out and open, that was all I saw.

Sgt. Stanley J. Kmiec
Ball Turret Gunner

I the undersigned was flying as a tail gunner in aircraft #464, of the 342nd Bomb Squadron. I saw an aircraft of our formation burst into flames on or near the left wing tip. We had just come off the target, and nearly out of the flak area. The aircraft suddenly went into a spin, the pilot regained control for a few seconds after falling about two thousand feet. He then seemed to lose control once again, and the aircraft again went into a dive, the left wing burning furiously. the left wing exploded and I observed three chutes come out of the aircraft, and they all opened. The aircraft then went out of my sight.

S/Sgt. James B. Jackson
Tail Gunner

I the undersigned was flying as a ball turret gunner on aircraft number 876, when we were just out of the flak area. I was looking around to see if everyone was OK, airplane number 857, was flying just below and behind us, and it looked as though #1 & #2 engines were just windmilling, but the left wing tip began to smoke and the aircraft dove down about 2000 feet and pulled up and was flying level once again. I could see gaas spraying from the left wing tip. The plane fell back then, and started down, the left wing tip was on fire and burned to the outboard motor, before the aircraft exploded. I then saw three chutes come out of the aircraft, and the all opened. That was the last I saw of the aircraft.

Sgt. Edward F. Gerardy
Ball Turret Gunner

Source: MACR 5437


B-17 42-31857 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT Jacob L. Rosenberg KIA
CP 2LT Hugh J. Kelley KIA
BOMB 2LT William C. Jones KIA
ENG/TT S/SGT Frederick R. Cooper POW
RO S/SGT James R. Gibson KIA
BT S/SGT Hiram F. Kalfsbeek POW
WG SGT Robert Q. Ashe, Jr. KIA
WG SGT Lewis A. LaMoreux KIA
TG S/SGT Willie A. Meinecke POW

Write comment